EPA sets new standards to cut sulfur in gasoline, oil industry sees higher prices

|By:, SA News Editor

The Obama administration imposes new limits on the amount of sulfur in gasoline, overruling the objections of refiners and oil companies who say the new ceiling would be too low and drop too fast.

Refiners will have until 2017 to comply with a strict new 10-parts-per-million cap, one-third the current sulfur threshold and 97% less than an earlier limit phased out in 2004.

The oil industry says the standard is both unwarranted and costly, forcing refiners to make ~$10B in investments in energy-intensive hydrotreaters and other equipment to strip more sulfur out of gasoline, in addition to $2.4B in estimated annual compliance costs.

The EPA also establishes new mandates for automotive tailpipe emissions that track California limits coming online in 2017, a move that will make it easier for U.S. automakers to sell the same car in all 50 states.

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